Politics & Policy

Cain’s Defense

Herman Cain continued to defend himself against sexual harassment charges in an interview that aired on PBS tonight.

Commenting that both women in the Politico article had reported to one of Cain’s subordinates at the National Restaurant Association, Cain said that only one of the women had made a formal charge, which he said he told his general counsel to resolve.

“He did. Came back after several months, and said there’s no basis to it. She couldn’t find anyone to corroborate her story, so it was a false sexual harassment claim,” Cain said.

About the other woman, Cain said, “The other one I never even knew that there was a claim, formally or otherwise. Totally have no idea.”

He mentioned that with the woman who had filed the formal charge, he had told her that she was the same height as his wife. “The time when I did that it was in my office, the door was wide open, and my secretary was sitting right there as we were standing there and I made the little gesture,” Cain said of the incident. “Other than that, I can’t even recall what some of the other things were, and as I mentioned, they were all found to be baseless.”

“There was some mention of a hotel room at a convention or at a meeting,” asked PBS news host Judy Woodruff. “Did any one of these women, were they ever asked to meet you?

“That I absolutely do not recall,” Cain responded. “I have no recollection of that.”

In response to a question about whether there had been any “behavior on your part” that was “inappropriate,” Cain said, “In my opinion, no.”

“But as you would imagine, it’s in the eye of the person who thinks that maybe I crossed the line,” he continued. “I worked for the Department of the Navy, the Coca-Cola company, Pillsbury, Burger King, Godfather’s Pizza. Years and years and years of working in the business environment, working around men, women, all types of people, never, never accused of any sort of sexual harassment. I have never sexually harassed anyone. And so this false allegation to now come up is kind of baffling.”

Asked if any other similar charges had been made against him, Cain said, “None ever that I am aware of.”

“I was aware that an agreement was reached,” Cain remarked in response to a question about whether he knew the NRA had reached a settlement. “The word settlement versus the word agreement, you know, I’m not sure what they called it. I know that there was some sort of agreement, but because it ended up being minimal, they didn’t have to bring it to me. My general counsel and the head of Human Resources had the authority to resolve this thing.

“So it wasn’t one of those things where it got above a certain authority level and I had to sign it,” he added. “If I did and I don’t think I did, I don’t even remember signing it because it was minimal in terms of what the agreement was.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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